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Awards 2011 - Service Supplier of the Year: Lex Autolease

Date: 25 January 2011

This headline award is always one of the most hotly contested because it brings together some of the largest companies in the industry to compete on behalf of their sectors; this means leasing, rental, insurance, remarketing, risk management, telematics and all the other non-manufacturer areas of the fleet car market fighting it out for the top prize.

So it's no surprise that for the second consecutive year the biggest name in the business takes the honours.

Lex Autolease is in the final stages of its integration after the merger of the banking giants Lloyds TSB and HBOS in 2009. For the company this has meant downsizing their fleet as part of a "strategic decision" - in 2009, it had 337,778 vehicles on its fleet compared with 307,133 in 2010. Still, Lex sits comfortably at the top of the BC50 - BusinessCar's annual leasing chart - with second-place Leaseplan running 123,883 cars.

Outgoing MD Nigel Stead (pictured) said late last year that the exit of some of the business lines acquired in previous heritage companies meant that the company is on "an even stronger financial footing and enables the business, as a whole, to become even more customer centric".

In reaction to winning the award, new MD Rick Francis said: "We have made a substantial investment in our core systems, our e-commerce platform and our consultancy team to ensure that our proposition continues to lead the market."

He continued: "In 2010, we have been very successful in winning and retaining business across all our sales channels, from small regional businesses to large, global corporates.

"We are confident that as we exit our integration in the first half of 2011, we will be an even stronger company delivering the very best combination of value, advice, products and service."

One service it will be adding this year is a salary sacrifice scheme. Francis said its launch will be "particularly appealing to the corporate end of the market and permit a greater degree of flexibility and tax efficiency in the benefit provision".

"As the economy picks up these schemes will become a more appealing way for our customers to retain and recruit the best quality employees," he added.

So congrats to Lex Autolease, which has proven that the largest firms can still provide decent customer service.